Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness

30 Rock and Parks and Recreation are two of my favorite television shows. On Parks and Recreation, actor Nick Offerman plays Ron Swanson, head of the Pawnee Parks and Rec Dept. Ron is a conservative libertarian who loves woodworking, breakfast foods, hunting, and fishing, and he keeps a sawed off shotgun in his desk. Like the The Most Interesting Man In the World, Ron exudes the kind of over-the-top manliness that is both awesome and awesomely hilarious. In one episode, he presents his Pyramid of Greatness to the boy’s basketball team he coaches. Ron says the pyramid represents a “perfectly calibrated recipe for maximum personal achievement.” The pyramid, which satirizes basketball coach John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success, includes such gems as:

Body Grooming: Only women shave below the neck.

Old Wooden Sailing Ships: They’re beautiful


Perspiration: Only sweat during physical activity and love making. No emotional sweating.

Click here to see an enlarged image of Ron’s Pyramid of Greatness.

Watch Ron present his Pyramid of Greatness.

What’s you favorite Swansonism?


Hat tip to Drew K for the link.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Moe February 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I love his views on skim milk, I share the same views…to be avoided

and I love me some Duke Silver!

but seriously, Ron is the best character on that show, Nick Offerman is the king of deadpan comedy

Michael February 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

My favorite Swansonisms is probably that he thinks child labor laws are ruining this country.
Second favorite is probably that Ron’s love of woodworking was based on Nick Offerman’s love of woodworking and the quotation from Nick Offerman explaining that when the writers of the show made a visit to his shop ”They were bewitched as all who visit must be.”
Third is the bacon wrapped turkey leg named The Swanson after he insisted the vendors selling turkey legs wrap them in bacon.

andyinsdca February 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I love it. And, note at the top, his description of honor – if you need it defined, you don’t have it. Here’s a larger (more readable) version of the whole pyramid

Nick Welch February 24, 2011 at 1:20 pm

these are probably my favorites. plus I just found a facebook page called “Ron Swanson Is My Professional Role Model”

“It’s a 16-ounce T-bone and a 24-ounce Porterhouse. Also, whiskey and a cigar. I am going to consume all of this at once because I am a free American.”

‎”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don’t teach the man to fish, and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man. Fishing’s not that hard.”

Drew February 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Greatness itself: the best revenge!

John February 24, 2011 at 3:32 pm

‎”Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day… Don’t teach a man to fish, and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man, fishing’s not that hard.”
-Ron Swanson

‎”My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in a small room at a desk, and the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test, and maybe some kind of physical tournament, like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe. When he desires them.”
-Ron Swanson

Gdub February 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm

In reference to the burrito:

“It’s a whole new meat delivery system!”

Matt February 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm

“I’m an official member of a task force dedicated to slashing the city budget. Just saying that gave me a semi.”

“It’s the same liberty that gives me the right to fart in my own car. Are you going to tell a man that he can’t fart in his own car?”

Zachariah February 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

There are so many nuggets…

“Fish, it’s practically a vegetable.”

“It’s art. Anything is anything.”

“You had me at meat tornado.”

“I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had. We still never talk sometimes.”

I especially love his views on breakfast foods, buffets, bacon, and brunettes.

Richard Kern February 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm
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More advice, crisp clear and concise:
The Most interesting man in the world on…

Chris March 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

I’ve never watched this show, but I think I need to.

Josh March 21, 2011 at 7:26 am

“There’s no shame in going for a criminals beanbag.”

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Ayesha September 14, 2017 at 1:44 am

My most loved Swansonisms is presumably that he supposes kid work laws are destroying this nation. Second most loved is likely that Ron’s adoration for carpentry depended on Nick Offerman’s affection for carpentry and the citation from Nick Offerman clarifying that when the journalists of the show made a visit to his shop “They were beguiled as all who visit must be.” Third is the bacon wrapped turkey leg named The Swanson after he demanded the merchants offering turkey legs wrap them in bacon.

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